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Columbia Township is part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, lands ceded in 1786 by Connecticut after the American Revolution. In 1805, two years after Ohio became a state, the federal government finalized treaties with local American Indians. The reserve was surveyed and parceled into rough 5-mile square blocks. The Bronson and Hoadley families of Waterbury, Connecticut pooled together $20,087 to purchase a township. On April 4, 1807, they drew Township 5 N, Range 15 W from a random selection of townships in the reserve, purchasing the land sight-unseen.
Why is Columbia Station used as our mailing address and not Columbia Township? The Zone Improvement Program (ZIP) was created in 1963. Before 1963, townships would use their post office name to help direct mail to the right post office in the state when there was more than one township with the same name. In Ohio there are two Columbia Townships.
In 1874 the train station was built on Station Road. The post office was inside the train station. The train station was named (you guessed it) Columbia Station. Mail that was sent to Columbia Township and surrounding areas was addressed to Columbia Station. Today Columbia Station is the US Post Office on Royalton road.
Below is the history of the mail delivery system in Columbia Township provided by the Columbia Historical Society.
Columbia Township Mail delivery and Post Offices
Columbia resident Benoni Adams was the first to deliver mail to Columbia Township in 1809 and he had a route that took him from Cleveland to Maumee.
The first Post Office opened in 1819 and was located in the general store on the south west corner of roads we now know as East River Rd ( Rt. 252) and Royalton Rd. ( Rt. 82). As there were already at least two other Columbia’s in Ohio another name had to be chosen. The people of Columbia Township picked Copokah an Indian word translated as rocky river. In papers sent from Washington the word was miss written as Copopo*, and the error was never corrected. The records show this post office was used from June 1824 until February 1904.
The railroads came through Columbia in 1850. Mail began to be delivered to the station and post office near Marshall Laird’s on Root Rd. In 1874 a railroad depot was built a little east of Station Rd. Mail was now delivered at this Columbia Station, Lorain County. Old timers remembered the incoming mail would be tossed from the mail car. A person in the mail car would catch the out going mail with a hook from a rod on a pole where it was hung. (Most of the time) When there had been passengers getting on and off the train, the bags were handed back and forth.
In 1958 the post office at Station Rd. was abandoned and a new building built just north of Rt. 82 on the east side. Just when areas outside of Columbia Township began to have mail delivered from the Columbia Station is not readily available. Though people could go and pick mail up, one letter from a Civil War soldier from Hard Scrabble (Liverpool Township) writes that he is sending some belongings to his family by way of Columbia Station.
By 1990 a new post office was built on Royalton Rd with a service area beyond Columbia Township. It is still called Columbia Station, Ohio. But mail is no longer delivered by train to Columbia Station. In fact it would take an old map to find Columbia Station located on Station Rd. by the rail road crossing. And that, residents of Columbia Township is why your mail is addressed Columbia Station, not Columbia Township.
*Copopo is the way it is written in the Williams Bros. History of Lorain County however cancelation stamps show Copopa.